& Clack Talk Cars
By Tom and Ray Magliozzi
Dear Tom and Ray:
I have a 2005
Honda Odyssey that needs new tires after only
32,000 miles. They are run-flat tires. My tire
dealer says I cannot just buy new run-flat tires;
I have to also replace the rims, and only the
dealer can do it. The dealer agrees with the
requirement of replacing the rims with the
run-flats at a cost of $580 per tire/wheel
combination. It this for real - almost $2,400 for
that frost your Fruit of the Looms, Mike?
Actually, 32,000 miles is pretty good for a set
seeing a lot of run-flat sticker shock these
days. When folks go in for their first set of
replacement tires and find out that the tires
cost three times as much and last only half as
long, they panic.
TOM: And do crazy
things ... like write to us!
RAY: Run-flats are
expensive. They have additional supports in the
sidewall that allow them to hold up the weight of
the car, even when theres no air in them.
TOM: The rims that
hold the run-flat tires are specifically
designed, too. They have large lips. Like my aunt
RAY: The larger
lip makes mounting any tire on that rim - even
the run flats - a challenge.
TOM: Some dealers
cant even mount run-flats because they
dont have the proper machine. You dealer
sounds like one of them. If you dont have
the right equipment, you can ruin the
tire-pressure monitor thats built into the
RAY: Youd be
well-advised to go elsewhere. The run-flat tires
for your Odyssey sell for about $240 each. The
labor involved in mounting them adds about $100
to the cost. But still, thats $340 a tire
instead of $580.
By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive
Is There Racing
in Fords Future?
Ford Motor Company
is facing multi-billion dollar losses, and hopes
its reduction in union workforce, plant closures
and other moves will better allow it to compete
on the domestic front, where its market share has
fallen from 25 percent in the early 90s to
its present 17.6 percent share.
If one believes
the Internet blog rumors, Ford could well drop
out of Nextel Cup before the first "Car of
Tomorrow" race in 2007, or at the end of the
to Kevin Kennedy, Ford Racing Technology Public
Affairs manager, this is nothing but rumors.
not true," he says. "As of right now,
Fords racing support and involvement is
that Fords racing programs provide a good
return on investment. Kennedy also points that
Fords research shows purchase consideration
is 72 percent higher for Ford products with race
fans than non-race fans.
a pretty strong number that cannot be ignored,
and the market share among race fans to the
general population is 46 percent higher."
Numbers like this
indicate there is an active, clearly defined and
very important race-influenced audience that Ford
must market to. Kennedy also admits that race
fans are buying more Fords, and buying them more
often, and that all the aforementioned reasons
make for a good market.